Ladies come close
Footballers must regroup ahead of Leitrim encounter
TIPPERARY 4-17 WICKLOW 3-12
WICKLOW put in a spirited performance against Tipperary in Round 3 of the All-Ireland Intermediate ladies football championship in Dunlavin last Sunday afternoon.
A win or draw was required for the Wicklow ladies to keep them in the Intermediate ranks. Conditions were ideal for football and Dunlavin GAA had their facilities in tip top condition.
Wicklow led at half-time by a solitary point and were level going into the final ten minutes, however, the introduction of the industrious Aishling Moloney swung the pendulum back in favour of the Premier County side.
Throw in was delayed as the referee had slept it out and the fourth official was then allocated the whistle as the Wicklow delegates went in search of umpires to commence the game.
Full-forward Laura Hogan pointed in the second minute to get James Kelly’s side up and running.
An Orla O’Dwyer shot was brilliantly saved by goalie Megan Dunne with Tipperary’s first attack moments later. Laura Dillon levelled the game before midfielder Sarah Delahunt and wing forward Jackie Kinch both pointed to restore the lead.
In the following four minutes Wicklow conceded a crucial 1-4 without reply, the goal coming from rushed kick-out that was intercepted by the alert Laura Dillon who put Orla O’Dwyer clean through to finsh to the net. Dillon herself tapped over a brace of pointed frees.
Marie Kealy steadied the ship with a beast of a point before Jessica Nolan Byrne laid off to the on-running Meadhbh Deeney who shook the back of the Tipp net to level proceedings at 1-4 apiece with 20 minutes played.
Laura Hogan blazed a glourious goal chance wide for Wicklow when clean through and the home side were punished when Dillon restored the lead with a well-taken point.
Back came Wicklow with a great passage of play started by Deeney who laid off to Hogan who found Kealy with a sublime pass and Kealy dispatched the ball high into the roof of the net as Wiclow rocked their opponents to the core.
Kealy pointed another placed ball and should have added another major, but she dragged her effort the wrong side of the upright.
Tipperary added a brace of points as the half-time whistle sounded to leave the score 2-5 to 1-7 at the break.
A blistering move started by Jackie Kinch ended with Deeney firing over a point for the Wicklow girls on the restart.
Tipperary responded with a sucker goal from the boot of Angela McGuigan to restore the lead once again. Laura Dillon had the ball in the Wicklow net again from a 13m free, however the referee deemed that she took the free inside the 13m line and chalked it off.
Dillon pushed the gap out to two but could not shake of a dogged Wicklow outfit. Aoife Gillen won a terrific turn over in the half back line and fed Jackie Kinch, who made a dashing run up the park and was fouled; Laura Hogan pointed the resultant free kick to leave the minimum in it again going into the final quarter.
A brace of Hogan pointed frees restored the lead for Wicklow as the action was up and down a beautifully manicured pitch.
Caoimhe Condon restored parity for the Tipp ladies before Meadhbh Deeney put the Wicklow girls a point to the fore in this titanic see-saw encounter.
With the game in the balance, Tipperary introduced the highly influential Aishling Moloney to the battle. Ava Fennessey restored parity at 2-10 apiece, once again in this epic battle as either side wouldn’t yield.
Aishling McCarthy pointed for Tipperary after trojan work by Aishling Moloney, who was a thorn in Wicklow’s defence in the closing stages of the game. Moloney herself pointed before a Hogan goalbound shot was blocked brilliantly by Samantha Lambert
from crossing the goal-line.
Tipp rose another white flag going into the final five minutes before the clinical Moloney cut clean through and landed Tipp’s third major, now leading by six points. Wicklow would not lie down and rallied again with a Marie Keay point, that was quickly followed up by a sensational lob by Deeney for Wicklow’s third major.
However, it was Tipperary who finished the stronger with a brace of points and a fortuitous goal that was brillianty saved by Dunne initially, but the rebound fell to Anna Carey who found the net with the final play of the game.
Tipperary, one of the favourites progress to the latter stages of the series, while Wicklow will have to regroup as they now will have to play Leitrim in a relegation match on August 11.
Scorers - Wicklow: Meadhbh Deeney 2-2, Marie Kealy 1-2, Laura Hogan 0-5 (4f), Amy Murphy
0-1, Sarah Delahunt 0-1, Jackie Kinch 0-1.
Tipperary: Aishling Moloney 1-3, Laura Dillon 0-6 (3f), Anna Carey 1-0, Orla O’Dwyer 1-0, Angela McGuigan 1-0, Aisling McCarthy 0-3, Elaine Fitzpatrick 0-2, Orla Winston 0-1, Caoimhe Condon 0-1, Ava Fennessey 0-1.
WICKLOW: Megan Dunne (St Pats); Aine Byrne (Tinahely), Sarah Jane Winders (Baltinglass), Aoife Gillen (Bray); Lorna Fuscardi (Foxrock), Aimee Maher (Tinahely), Tara Dowling Costello (Clan na Gael); Aoife Gorman (Tinahely), Sarah Delahunt (St Pats); Jackie Kinch (Tinahely), Jessica Nolan Byrne (Tinahely), Meadhbh Deeney (Thomas Davis); Marie Kealy (Baltinglass), Laura Hogan (Tinahely), Amy Murphy (An Tochar). TIPPERARY: Lauren Fitzpatrick; Niamh Martin, Emma Buckley, Emma Cronin; Brid Condon, Samantha Lambert, Caitlin Kennedy; Roisin Daly, Elaine Fitzpatrick; Niamh Lonegran, Emma Morrissey, Katie Cunningham; Caoimhe Condon, Angela McGuigan, Orla O’Dwyer. Subs: Ava Fennessey, Aishling Moloney, Orla Winston. REFEREE: Des McEnery (Westmeath)
Wicklow’s Amy Murphy looks to go past Tipperary’s Maria Curley in Dunlavin.
Wicklow’s Laura Hogan gets her shot away despite the attentions of Tipperary’s Emma Cronin.